Part 1

Part 2  

The Pas, Manitoba, Canada.

Lee Colgen (Michael Mahonen) is a spoiled Momma's boy, who always wants his own way. Lee convinces his parents to let him use the family car on a  snowy, Friday night in November, 1971.  When Lee and three friends get drunk and go joy riding they come across a lone Cree Indian girl walking home. The four drag her into Lee's  car, expecting her to drink with them, and do what ever they wish. The girl, Helen Betty Osborne, resists all of their efforts and is brutally beaten, and then killed.  Her body is taken to a pump house,  deep in the woods where she is dragged and left...hoping that no one will find her.

The four go home to sleep off their drunk, not knowing that the next morning  her body has been found, by a small boy and his father.. At first, Lee, feeling guilty  and not knowing how to deal with it ; tells friends at school what happened.  But in time, all four  go to a lawyer, because the police are questioning them. Their lawyer advises them to keep quiet, and say nothing. Since no one witnessed the crime; if they keep silent they will remain free. People in the town , also, know many details of the killing, but all remain quiet in a ...conspiracy of silence...


The years pass, and three of the killers move to other parts of the country, marry and start families putting the killing behind them.  Lee stays in The Pas, marries and has a son. The killing weight heavily on Lee's mind, and he sinks deeper and deeper into alcoholism. He eventually looses his family, his job and all self respect  and, finally,  is forced to move back into his parents house. It is at this point , that a new RCMP officer comes to town, and re-opens the murder case. Enough years have passed, that the people who feared telling what they knew about the murder have had a change of heart...they  begin, one by one, to  tell the police what they know... and are surprised that "... the police didn't already know what everyone in town had known for years..."

Lee is arrested, and the police find and arrest the other three. After, being sent to a sanitarium for alcoholics to "dry out". Lee becomes the Crown's star witness. Two of the four men are put on trial, Dwayne Johnston and Jim Houghton ( Lee's best friend and neighbor) , with Norm Manger and Lee Colgen testifying against them. Houghton is found "not guilty" of the murder and is  released ; but Johnston is found guilty of the girls murder, and is sent to prison.

It took more than sixteen years, but the police finally broke... the conspiracy of silence....
E-mail me when people leave their comments –

You need to be a member of American Indians and Friends to add comments!

Join American Indians and Friends